James Cameron's Avatar

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by The2ndQuest, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. DARKAURUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 3
    "and a routine plot and script that had several moments of "did they really just say that?" dialogue."

    Yeah, like the "love" part didn't really develop that well IMO, you only started to feel the connection between you know who and you know who else towards the end.

    Still, some of the lines were just kinda lame. The "evil humans" vs. the natives who are one with nature. `We`re going to fight terror with terror` cringe inducing and behind the times. Didn`t Obama win the election...

    This conflict ends up being kind of lame - I actually felt bad for the humans that were dying, for as much as they had humanized the aliens, I still felt bad when an actual human being died on screen (apart from the main bad guy who was just over the top evil).

    It also is a bit of a cheat - for any EU fans out there, Pandora is like Zonama Sekot, the self-aware brother planet of the one that the Yuuzhan Vong came from. So trying to draw a parallel between these aliens, who obviously have a real and true scientifically proven neural connection to a sentient planet, and Native North and South Americans is a bit cheap. I mean, the Na`vi psychically bond with their rider animals. That`s something real. In the end, the natives in the Americas are just another group of humans, and their so-called sacred connection to the land is really just a myth.

    Oh, the animation looked good - sometimes. Some shots of the `background` Navi were a bit fake looking, also like someone mentioned Jake`s feet. And the flying dragon animals - they looked kinda fake, as well as those pack hunting panther dog thingies. The `floating mountains` thing really took me out of my suspension of disbelief - I can buy everything in this movie, but not mountains which defy gravity. Just a bridge too far.

    P.S. the walker-bots were stolen from Aliens and the flying choppers are clear ripoffs of the Hornets in Halo 3.

  2. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I don't think they were ripping off Halo ships- it's just that both Avatar and Halo were referencing ship designs from Aliens (particularly the dropship) combined with real helicopters.
  3. DARKAURUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 3
    yeah, I guess you're right.

    It's like when someone criticized the new Terminator movie for ripping off "The Matrix" - ironic, since The Matrix happily rips off The Terminator.
  4. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    fixed that for you ;)
  5. DARKAURUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 3
    Oh, I know The Matrix "borrows" heavily from Ghost in the Shell, but it also borrows heavily from Terminator.
  6. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    When the "Good Woman Human Pilot" steals the chopper, why doesn't she just fire a missile into the command bunker? That would have stopped everything. It would have killed Major Moron, Corporate Stooge, and most of the serior command problems. All with one shot.
    My guess: the chopper didn't have missiles loaded onto it at the time. Why store choppers fully loaded?
    But then, where did they get the ammo for the big fight?

    Is there an answer, or is it "theatrical convenience?"
  7. Leto II Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 23, 2000
    star 6
    My wife leaned over and whispered this exact same question to me about a minute-and-a-half after that scene ended (right after Sigourney's wound was revealed).

    Actually, it was more to the effect of, "Why the hell didn't she just strafe the landing field and take out all the other V/STOLs when she had the chance?"...but yeah.
  8. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    She had guns- not sure if she had missles (she flies the transport version, not the heavy missle one).
  9. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6
    They seem to be able to load different packages for each mission. Generally, hers seems set up for transport, but it was set up for missiles when the home tree was destroyed. I wouldn't expect hers to be loaded with missiles after the mission was over. The normal guns could have been as a result of her stealing some ammunition before going AWOL, using a forward munitions dump of some sort, the vehicle's basic weaponry being left on at all times in the understanding that whenever you go out you might need to shoot some giant lizard bird bat thing, or something.

  10. jedi-jeff Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 3
    The visual effects were just stunning in this film. Avatar is the first film I had seen in 3D. The 3D effect was generally effective though sometimes gimmicky (guns and arrows pointing out of the screen). This film looked as if Cameron went to actual real locations to shoot that were obviously not on Earth.

    The overall story was not very original but reasonably entertaining. One major problem was the stupid marines and their commander. The villainous Marine Colonel performance was so over the top as to become kind of silly (perhaps he was insane). Also he does not seem to be a very bright military strategist. Why can't the Navi be targeted remotely with the equivalent of satellite guided munitions and drones. Strange that Marines in the 22nd century have such poor and even obsolete equipment. The weapons used in the 22nd century seemed to have not advanced much in 150 years. A marine in the 21st century seems to have more firepower such as satellite guided munitions and Predator drones then the Marines on Pandora.
  11. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I was under the impression that "machines turning on man" was already a well developed plot point by that time. :p

    Anyways, I just came back from my first viewing of Avatar and I have to say it was splendid. I did see a lot of "Dances with Wolves" in it but, visually, it put a lot of movies to shame.
  12. MasterGhandalf Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2009
    star 2
    The simple answer is that those guys weren't Marines. A lot of them were ex-marines, but the movie says near the beginning that this is a mercenary group working security for Selfridge's company. They don't use a lot of really advanced weaponry because they don't have it (between Selfridge probably running a tight budget and the amount of time and resources needed to get stuff from Earth to Pandora). That's why they had to turn the shuttle into a bomber at the end- they just didn't have any real ones. Hope that helps!
  13. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Really, the only bad part of the movie was the song at the beginning of the closing credits. It was all whale-humper bubble-pop nonsence that I'd expect from a Disney kid's cartoon (did kinda remind me of the end song from Atlantis).
    Everything else (including the "over-sight" I mentioned earlier) was either good, or at least forgivable.
  14. jedi-jeff Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 3
    Me bad, I missed the Mercenary reference. The lack of decent equipment then makes some sense. For some reason I seemed to only remember the military folks referred to only as "marines" working for some nameless "Corporation".
  15. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    Sully's voice over during his arrival says they're hired guns, there for the money.


    As for the tech- Cameron said somewhere that the nature of Pandora and it's environment force them to use lower tech there; but the corporate angle also makes a lot of sense too. Probably a combination of the two.
  16. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper

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    Member Since:
    May 25, 2000
    star 6
    Overall, I loved the movie, but I'm not without criticisms. First off, I totally see the white guilt/white fantasy angle. About a third of the way through the movie, I found myself asking "where is a brown person to tell these people that what they're doing is kinda familiar?" Sure enough, it's Michelle Rodriguez's character that quit the field at a key point. Which, BTW, she wasn't thrown in a brig for desertion...why?

    Secondly, it was ridiculously heavy-handed with its "corporations and their military stooges are bad/tree-huggers & scientists are good" storyline. And after all, you can't argue with elves... I mean, aliens.

    And "unobtainium?" Really? The only thing that would have made it any more obvious is if it were called "plothookium" or "macguffinite." And why was it so valuable anyway?

    All-in-all though, it was very entertaining, and that's what counts for me :)
  17. kecen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 4
    Rodriguez's character wasn't fired because the station didn't have too many soldiers in the first place --- space travel is expensive in that universe and it would take years for reinforcements to arrive.

    I think the name of unobtainium was a lampshading of a long-standing plot point in science fiction.

    I enjoyed this movie. The reversals in the later half made the final ending harder to predict. We all know the Native Americans in Dances with Wolves get slaughtered, but the Na'vi get their planet to keep...for now. I definitely noticed the parallels between Zonama Sekot and Pandora, Yuuzhan Vong & Ferroans and Na'vi. I wish the New Jedi Order books were as enjoyable visually, ho-hum. Grace Augustine is like Nen Yim. "I See You" should be used as a Nei Rin/Kol Skywalker love theme.

    Chewbecca the Terrible has a Jake from McDonald's that she's named Kevin Meagle. She found it behind the water dispenser. Nice.
  18. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I feel like I have no understanding of this sentence whatsoever.
  19. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Member Since:
    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    I'm glad I'm not the only one [face_laugh]
  20. kecen Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 12, 2005
    star 4
    Oh well...

    Chewbecca is my sister. She found an action figure of Jake Sullivan, the one from McDonald's that glows. It was behind the couch. She named it something other than Jake.
  21. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    This about sums it up for me. Human = Bad. Jake couldn't get his legs fixed by the nasty humans, the nasty humans have nothing to offer the aliens(humans = worthless), nasty humans destroyed their own world and wanted to destroy this one, and lastly the humans that do have some good moral characteristics all want to become aliens.......why? Because Humanity = Evil.

    I liked the effects and some of the battle scenes were excellent, but the native Blue People were perfect in every way....I can totally see why the lead characters basically hate us....er....the humans.

    I bet the critics and people handing out the awards in Hollywood are going to eat up this message, and really they shouldn't........all it delivers is a three hour epic about how humanity is worthless.

    I didn't hate the film, but I can't say I really enjoyed it either. Stephen Lang was a stand out(just like he was in Gettysburg;) ). He was my favorite part in a film that gives some decent entertainment value but tries way to hard to be serious.
  22. The2ndQuest Tri-Mod With a Mouth

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    Jan 27, 2000
    star 10
    It wasn't about all of humanity- just excessively greedy corporations and mercs. And all the good guys didn't want to become aliens- Weaver's character was only given that opportunity because she was dying, I doubt she'd want to become one permanently (see her reaction to Sully's mating) if given the choice.
  23. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    So explain when Sully tells to the world brain about how humans destroyed their world and now were coming to destroy hers? Explain how Sully(injured as a marine presumably working for the government) can't get his legs fixed because he can't afford to?

    "Not in this economy"

    There's never a mention of how these corporations and mercs are breaking any laws, so I presume they are not. I presume that there is no central government or other functioning authority setting rules of anykind. Perhaps its a future where the corporation is the government? It's impossible to tell.

    I'm exagerating my criticims slightly of course, Michelle Rodriguez never professed to want to be a Blue Man;) Weaver? I think she seemed quite happy as a Blue Man and very taken with their species. She wanted to learn and know everything about them? How better to do that than to become one of them. It's basically the idea behind the whole film.:p

    But the film is clearly anti-establishment and is attempting to to push a message down the audience's throat through the villianization of 99% of the humans presented and the glorification of the Blue Man race. A perfect utopian race with not so much as a blemish on their society.

    I suppose I would have enjoyed something a bit more escapist that didn't try quite as hard to be serious. The films action scenes do work pretty well and the second half of the movie is much better than the first because of it. Some of it works fine and I can easily say its the best film I've seen this year.......Of course its only January 1st;)

  24. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    Of course Hollywood is going to eat it up. Just look at "Happy Feet", the abomination of PC idiocy.
  25. Raven Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 5, 1998
    star 6

    Just a few thoughts, looking forward to potential sequels. Assuming it takes four years for light to travel from Pandora to Earth and six years for a ship to make the trip:

    Earth finds out about Pandora being lost in about 4 years.
    From the time at which Earth realizes that their flow of Unobtainium will be interrupted to the time the last ship arrives carrying it will be two years.
    The humans going to Earth will arrive in six years.
    The last Earth vessel sent to Pandora before they realize what's happening will arrive in 10 years.
    The earliest that an earth vessel can arrive to try to retake the planet is also approximately 10 years.
    If any humans who returned to Earth are returning to Pandora, they can complete the round trip no faster than in 12 years.

    Just some food for thought regarding timing of things.

    One other thing: I wonder how much of Grace is alive in the planet? With Grace's knowledge of biology and genetics, the planet may begin "waking up" and producing biotech. And maybe Grace will wander around as a blue ghost in the sequels.